The 13th Avenue Merchants Association will soon be the 13th Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), if organization President Dominick Sarta and his fellow local business owners have anything to say about it.As of their June meeting, the group had about 80 percent of the needed ballots to allow them to go to the citys Department of Small Business Services and present their whole package to the City Council, according to Sarta. That package includes a projected budget for at least three to five years, as well as statistics describing the neighborhoods tight-knit, mom-and-pop community where, as Sarta noted, businesses are passed down through the generations, 40 percent of business owners are building owners, and about 70 percent of the time a building sells, the person buying it is also the new business owner. Keeping 13th Avenue as the Main Street of Brooklyn is important to residents and businesses and forming a BID would only strengthen that, he said.Becoming a BID gives member merchants a way to improve their avenue actively, through things like paying for beautification, morning street cleaning and security, while also being able to hold events for the community.BIDs also receive support from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, which provides guidance and resources to aspiring and existing neighborhood commercial districts. [Right now,] were capable of doing Christmas lights and a couple of [networking] events, but everyone has jobs, so its tough to find volunteers, explained Sarta. With a BID, every business owner pays in, so there will be a guaranteed budget to work with. Among the first issues a newly formed BID would tackle would be street cleanliness. If formed, the BID would include and represent businesses along 13th Avenue from 86th Street to 64th Street. Current businesses include clothing and shoe stores, salons and jewelry stores, but not too many restaurants, which may be something that a BID could attract. If you have any questions about joining a possible BID, email 13thAvenueMerchants@gmail.com or visit the organizations Facebook page.
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